"John has a chance to be as good as anyone that has ever played here," said Yusuf Shakir, Lincoln's coach. "What separates John from everyone else is his attitude. He carries a great attitude with everything he does. He works so hard. John runs track and plays baseball. He never complains about anything and he just loves to compete."
Lincoln is also home to one of the state's top cornerback prospects in Kendall Randolph. The two go head to head in practice.
"They really go at it," Shakir said. "They just try and beat each other. When Kendall wins a rep John doesn't make any excuses. He just wants to go at it again and again. If he stays healthy John is going to play football for a very long time. Here you have a kid with an incredible work ethic and attitude and a talent to match it. It's rare that a kid will have all three of those things.
"I have seen plenty of kids with talent but they don't want to work and they complain. Not John. This kid wants it. Everything is so natural to him. He's easily the most talented player that I have ever had and a kid you don't have to worry about anything."
"Everybody loves him," Shakir said. "I know Florida should offer him soon. I stopped by there on my spring break and that's all [John Burt] they asking about. Joker [Phillips] wants to see him in person. I will take him over there at some point and I know they will see him this spring. Of course everyone that comes through this spring is going to offer him."
Burt is not even 16-years old yet and he's finally growing into his frame.
"He's pushing 6-foot-5 and 185-pounds and looks slim," Shakir said. "I made him get on the scale the other day because I said he was too skinny. He was 185-pounds. I was like ‘man you are not even 16 yet.' Wait until he gets his growth spurt weight wise. This kid is going to be something else."
Randolph Has Surgery
Kendall Randolph (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) is a four-star defensive back and one of the top cornerbacks from the Sunshine State in the Class of 2014. He recently had thumb surgery.
"Kendall tore ligaments in his thumb in week eight or nine of the regular season last full," said Yusuf Shakir, Lincoln's coach. "They actually put a rod in it and he hasn't been allowed to do anything, no running or weight lifting. But he will be all right. Kendall should be back next week."
Randolph, 6-foot-0 and 175-pounds, has a top five schools according to Shakir.
LB A Seminole or Cardinal?
Lincoln linebacker Jeffrey Williams is one of the top recruits in the Class of 2014 at his position. He already holds offers from teams like Florida State, Louisville, Ole Miss, and North Carolina.
"His two favorites are FSU and Louisville," said Yusuf Shakir, Lincoln's coach. "I think he will commit to one of those two schools."
Williams, 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds, plays outside linebacker.
"Jeffrey is so fast and so athletic," Shakir said. "He's just relentless and plays so hard on every play. He's one of those type of kids that will have success because he takes no plays off. Ever. He will be at least 230-pounds. He's just a natural player that's just starting to lift some weights."
Future OL Star
Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln has a potential big time offensive tackle recruit in the class of 2015 in Tarrick Thomas. Thomas is now a long 6-foot-4 and 265-pounds.
"Height wise he's just a bit smaller than [John] Burt," said Yusuf Shakir, Lincoln's coach. "He's long like Laremy [Tunsil] and reminds me a lot like Laremy at the same stage. The two were just together and right now Laremy is just thicker."
Thomas is the son of former Florida State star and NFLer Tarlos Thomas.
"He's going to be your prototype offensive tackle," Shakir said. "His strengths are his feet, quickness, balance and he has that natural bend. He just needs to keep working and keep growing."
Still Waiting on Hearns
Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln linebacker James Hearns still has work to do in the classroom. He has the necessary test score but is still not qualified to sign with a college. Hearns, 6-foot-4 and 230-pounds, is a member of the class of 2013. He was previously committed to the University of Florida but opened his recruiting back up late last year.
"It looks like he will have to go JUCO," said Yusuf Shakir, Lincoln's coach. "Everyone (junior colleges) is calling about him but he has to graduate first."
Another Hearns in 2014 Class
Travis Hearns is a linebacker prospect from one of the state power in the Sunshine State, Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High School. Hearns, 6-foot-0 and 210-pounds, is a recruit that plays on both sides of the ball. He's also a running back for the Trojans.
"His biggest strength is his athleticism," said Yusuf Shakir, Lincoln's coach. "He first started with us as a safety and then started growing. Travis is a kid that can play in space. He can run and has some quickness for a bigger player."
Hearns doesn't have any offers at this time but some big programs are looking at him.
"North Carolina State is showing interest," Shakir said. "So are some of the second tier SEC and ACC schools. With a good spring and a good year he could really blossom."
Travis is the younger brother of 2013 prospect James Hearns.
Two Impact Transfers
Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln got a transfer from Florida High School recently in Matthew Donaldson and Darius Harvey. Donaldson, 6-foot-0 and 210-pounds, is quite an athlete according Lincoln coach Yusuf Shakir.
"We played them last year," Shakir said. "He's strong and powerful. Matthew is athletic. He just played receiver. He's physical and has soft hands. I am very excited to have him. Some schools have already called about him."
For Lincoln Donaldson will play running back and perhaps safety. He's definitely one to keep an eye on this spring and fall.
Harvey played quarterback as a junior.
"Darius is a super athlete," said Yusuf Shakir, Lincoln's coach. "For us he will be a cornerback or wide receiver. He's 5-foot-11 and 175-pounds. He can run and great quickness.
"We played them last year and he gave us problems in space. I think he's a skilled guy at the next level and I think he will be great corner. He's a former quarterback that's physical and he understands the passing game and everything on defense."
D1 Punter In Crews
Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln is home to perhaps the state's top overall kicker is Brian Crews. Crews, 6-foot-1 and 160-pounds, averaged 43-yards per punt last year.
"Most people say he's the No. 1 punter is Florida," said Yusuf Shakir. "He does it all for us. Plus, he's left footed and those lefties put a different spin on their punts. Brian is definitely one of those guys that has the ability to get a scholarship to play college ball. But does anyone want a punt? That's the question."
Crews carries a 3.1 GPA and has a 20 ACT score.
Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln is home to a pair of sleeper defensive backs in Karonte Donaldson and Brandon Jackson. According to their coach Yusuf Shakir both of these safeties have a chance at D1 scholarships.
"Donaldson has a great frame," Shakir said. "He's 6-foot-4 and 185-pounds. He has really good ball skills and he knows football. He's from a football family and he understands the game."
Jackson, 6-foot-2 and 180-pounds, could grow into another position.
"Brandon started the last six or seven games for us," Shakir said. "I think he's a lower D1 guy, maybe 1-AA. Brandon is a kid that just does what he's supposed to do all the time. He's tall and long with plenty of room to grow. Heck, he may be linebacker and could get to 210-pounds very easily. I think he's best suited to play safety in a 4-2-5 scheme. He would be a good hybrid."